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Thailand to South Korea that cannabis products are illegal

The Thai embassy in Seoul has warned people going from Thailand to South Korea that cannabis and cannabis-based products are illegal there and carry stiff jail terms, with deportation and the likelihood of being barred from future entry.

It is the latest in a growing list of Thai embassies warning travellers from Thailand that cannabis and cannabis-based products remain illegal in most countries.

The embassy posted a warning on its Facebook page on Tuesday: “Annoucement! Thais wanting to travel or stay in South Korean are warned not to carry cannabis, hemp or products containing these plants into the country. 

Violators could face punishment under South Korean law!

  • Smuggling (cannabis or hemp) into the country is liable to a jail term of five years up or life imprisonment;
  • Growing or selling these plants is liable to a jail term of at least one year; 
  • Possession of cannabis or helm or using them carries a jail term of up to 5 years; and 
  • Being deported or barred from travelling to South Korea.”

The Royal Thai Embassy in Seoul posts a warning on its Facebook page on Tuesday. (Photo:Royal Thai Embassy, Seoul Facebook page)

Thailand is the first country in Southeast Asia to decriminalise cannabis, removing the plant from the category 5 narcotics list, by an announcement in the Royal Gazette on June 9. 

The Thai embassy in Japan on June 24 warned Thais not to carry cannabis or cannabis-based products into Japan because penalties are severe.

In Japan, possession of cannabis or its products for import or export purposes carries a prison term of up to 7 years, while possession for sale is liable to up to 10 years  and/or a fine of up to ¥3 million (about 786,200 baht), the embassy warned on its Facebook page.

On June 20, the Thai consulate-general in Ho Chi Minh City issued a warning on its official Facebook page that, “Products containing cannabis and hemp are prohibited from being brought into Vietnam. If violations are detected, the penalty will be 5 million to 500 million Vietnamese dong and life imprisonment or the maximum penalty of death”.

On June 21, the Thai embassy in Jakarta followed suit, warning Thais not to carry cannabis or cannabis products into the country.

Penalties there include a fine of 1 billion Indonesian rupiah (about 2.3 million baht), imprisonment for from 5 years to life, or the death penalty, according to the Thai embassy in Jakarta Facebook page.

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